NHL Odds: Capitals still lead 'under' winners

By: David Schwab | Saturday, March 5, 2011

Nearly 55 percent of NHL games this season have remained ’under.’

The 2010-11 NHL regular season is entering the final full month of the regular season and with less than 20 games left to play, the Philadelphia Flyers lead the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference by three points.  The top of the Western Conference standings also remains tight with  the Vancouver Canucks owning a four-point lead over the Detroit Red Wings before play on Saturday.

The Red Wings are the highest-scoring team in the NHL with an average of 3.25 goals per game with the Flyers a close second with 3.22. The Bruins remain the stingiest team in the league giving up just 2.55 on average. Nashville and Vancouver are tied for second; giving up 2.29 goals a game.

The New Jersey Devils remain the lowest-scoring team in the league with just 2.09 goals per game, followed by the Ottawa Senators at 2.25. The Colorado Avalanche are the worst defensive team in the NHL, giving up an average of 3.41 goals a game. The Edmonton Oilers' 3.26 goals allowed is second from the bottom.

NHL bettors have been better off this season playing the 'under' with 54.7 percent of the games staying below the total through Friday (March 4). Games ending in regulation have stayed ‘under’ 54.4 percent of the time, while overtime games have stayed ‘under’ 55.6 percent of the time.

Colorado is one of only six teams bucking the league trend and making money for NHL 'over' bettors.  Thanks in large part to their porous defense, the Avalanche are the best bet when it comes to playing the ‘over’ with 36 of their 64 games (59 percent) jumping the NHL odds, three more ending in a 'push.'  That rate is down over the past two weeks with the Avs 4-2-1 to the 'under' their last seven trips to the ice.

The second team on this list would be the Phoenix Coyotes, presently 36-27-3 to the high side.  Ironically, the Coyotes and Avalanche have met three times this season, but the total has only gone ‘over’ once.

The New York Islanders are the third highest with 55.6 percent of their games going ‘over’ the total (35-28-2).

The Washington Capitals are the clear choice when looking for a solid ‘under’ play. The total has stayed ‘under’ in 47 of the Capitals' 65 games, a whopping 74.6 percent of the time (with a pair of 'pushes.'

Nashville's 37-19-9 'under' is a somewhat distant second to the Caps' mark, but the Predators are closing that gap with a 6-0-3 rate since mid-February while Washington is 7-2 'under' in the same nine-game span.

Of the eight teams that had reached the 80-point plateau in the standings, only two were cashing 'over' tickets more often than not.  That may not be true in the near future as both Detroit (34-31 'over) and Tampa Bay (34-29-1 'over) have been trending to the low side recently.

The Red Wings entered Saturday's matchup in Phoenix with the 'under' on a 4-1 streak while the Lightning were on 4-0 and 5-1 runs to the low side as they prepared to host the Canadiens.

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